Women in Tech (WiT) is an international non-profit organization dedicated to helping women embrace technology. This organization plans and executes mentorships programs, networking, and other events that introduce technology to any women interested to learn and improve their technical skills.

Women in Tech is an organization open to everyone – regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, class, age, sexual orientation, or disability status. 

The Women in Tech Ambassadors for Macedonia are Monika Rizovska and Katerina Trajchevska.

We asked Monika Rizovska, Cosmic Development’s Marketing and Communications Manager and Women in Tech Ambassador to tell us something more about her role in the tech industry and share the organization’s approach in empowering women in the tech sector.

What does it mean to be a Marketing and Communications Manager in an IT company such as Cosmic Development?

I’m proud to be more than eight years in the IT industry, working and supporting young future tech leaders. As a Marketing and Communications Manager, I see my role in Cosmic Development also as a Happiness Engineer for all our 4 locations internally though my primary responsibility is to have a keen awareness of the local market and its trends. Then to develop clear and effective communication and digital marketing strategy that helps the company achieve the planned objectives locally and worldwide.

Cosmic is all about people, and I love working with people. It’s impossible to accomplish great things without teamwork and coordination, particularly in a fast-growing industry such as ours. Cosmic Development is not keen on a traditional hierarchy. Our people are a family of go-getters and self-starters who love their jobs. They are responsible enthusiasts, ready to learn, grow, and prosper. We all work together towards achieving the same goals.

What distinguishes Cosmic from the other companies where I worked is the flexible work time, the relationship with the people, the culture of freedom for creativity, and the support to go the extra mile. I am honored and grateful to be surrounded by great people with whom I can grow both as a professional. I learn a lot from my team. From Vladimir Novachki (our CTO) I got the “love bug” for FrontEnd development, and how to creative problem solving is used in programming. From Ryan Milnes (our CEO) I learn every day through our communication, especially about selling, branding, and aesthetics, from Matt (our CFO) how to plan carefully and from Anthony (our Director) to see the big picture.

I have complete support to spend time in supporting and helping our IT Community by sharing knowledge, connecting people, organizing events, hackathons, training, and being a mentor or judge at startup and tech conferences.

Besides being the Marketing and Communication Manager at Cosmic Development, you have been more than 15 years actively engaged in other NGO organizations as well. You were chosen as one of the ten most inspiring women role models from UN Women for the SEE region, an organization that advocates for women and girls in STEM (science, tech, engineering, and math). Could you tell us more about it?

I am committed to empowering women in STEM for quite some time, through my previous NGO work previously, even without knowing or with that specific reason. My official involvement started as a board member at Girls in Tech, an initiative that aims to support girls and women who are on the crossroad of choosing their career. I believe that everyone should push their limits and learn new technologies.

How do you perceive the future growth of the IT industry in Macedonia? 

I am positive about the potential we have in the Balkans, as well as in the whole region of southeast Europe. Nowadays in Macedonia and Serbia, young children at the age of 6 or 7 are attending STEM courses and learn how to program robots, create websites, and even learn to code in Python. Slowly but surely, we are building skilled and highly qualified staff to solve global issues and build a better future.

There are free meet-ups, workshops, conferences, and other events available to young people who are interested in starting a career in the IT sector. I hope to see continuous investments in the start-up community, an increasing number of coworking places, incubators and tech accelerators so the young professionals will be encouraged to take action and get involved in entrepreneurship as well.

What would you recommend to young women who are at the beginning of their careers?

There is no reason why young women shouldn’t pursue careers in STEM if they want to. I advise everyone to be curious, persistent, to keep learning, and to keep investing in their knowledge. To accept challenges and to surround themselves with inspiring people who will help them grow. Last but not least, to embrace the opportunities to use their potential.

If interested to get enrolled in the initiative, join us at the Women in Tech Macedonia Chapter Launch in Skopje on September, 25th, 2019.